Letter to the editor: Take a knee, America

Colin Kaepernick brought the NFL to its knees.  Literally.  Ratings are down, television viewership is down, game attendance is down.  Criticism is widespread.  NFL product sales are down, except maybe for Kaepernick’s jersey, and that is even more indicative of the disturbingly confused state of the collective mind to which America has evolved.

Taking a knee has become the new American symbol for truth and justice, while innocently kneeling in a house of worship has become the new American symbol for death by mass shooting. 

How did this all start with Kaepernick?  The guy was a great quarterback with a bright future in the NFL.  Many say it was his activist girlfriend who instigated his actions against the “mistreatment of blacks” to sit during the national anthem at the games.  Then there was his ex-military friend who said that he should compromise and kneel instead, show a little respect.  Makes you wonder just where Kapernick’s head is at and how easily he’s influenced, which says a lot in itself.

Yes, he brought attention to that specific problem, and maybe he should be applauded for it.  But he didn’t think it through.  He didn’t see the damage he was doing.  Not just to the NFL whose many players knelt in support of Kaepernick, but to the very cause he was claiming to espouse.  He drew focus to the division between the races, reinforcing it and potentially creating an even greater division, while taking no positive action or offering any solution.  

Young kids, pee wee league footballers and high school players, who really don’t care about the race or skin color of their teammates and who may have grown a few more years into their young lives believing that we are all teammates in life no matter what color your skin is, now have the Kaepernick perspective to consider. 

Race prejudice is a force of nature, and it can be influenced, reinforced or reversed at an early age.   

We grown up Americans and NFL fans already know about the race problem.  It’s on the news every day.  We live with it every day.  It’s a theme that has been reinforced in the movies and television shows every day as well for decades.  We don’t need to be reminded about this any more, especially, when the Kaepernick-delivered message by kneeling during the national anthem at a sunday NFL football game that we want to enjoy as a break from the daily grind is marred by this intrusive distraction to the proceedings.

Worse, the message has gotten lost in the translation.  It looks to many like the NFL players, especially the black players, hate their jobs and hate America.  Their protest is non violent, however, while the skin-heads, arians, white supremacists and nazi sympathizers, the real criminals and blight on society, literally get away with murder in the name of freedom.  

And then there is the irrepressible 24/7 news media with its glamorous news hostesses who capture our attention playing us against one another, and making a fortune for both themselves and their advertisers.         

They used to say that if you tipped America on its side everything loose would end up in Los Angeles.  LA became the standing joke about the looseness and craziness of American culture.  So, anything nuts became “the Los Angeles of America.”  A look around these days and it seems America has become the Los Angeles of the world.  We appear crazy, irresponsible.  Maybe our world is becoming the America of our Galaxy.  Someone out there may be observing us and taking a knee for our planet.

Our humanness is bringing us down, instead of elevating us.  We take a knee for everything.  We want self-recognition and empowerment for everything and everyone, leaving collective humanity unattended.  We live for our causes and self-identities.  Black Lives Matter (used to be Black Power), gay rights, Trans this and that, LGBT, GLBT, LGBTQI …LSMFT.  This idea that we are all one people, of America, of the world, that we are a melting pot is a lost historical fiction.  That pot has boiled over and now burnt on the bottom.  We seem to hate one another.  If someone out there in the galaxy is watching us, that’s what they may surmise.

As far as I can tell we are a dominant twofold species, male and female.  It’s how we procreate.         

And it seems to be the males causing all the trouble.  Except maybe for Kaepernick’s activist girlfriend.  Behind every great man …. 

I think we can all agree that the indians got the worst deal of all, our forerunner indigenous people.  And they were here first!  This place, America, was theirs and look how we treated them.  So let’s take a knee for the indians.  

Then came the whites, the blacks, the browns, the yellows ..Blue Man Group ..the Irish, the Greeks, the Italians, the Jews …just about everyone from everywhere.  And look how poorly we treat each other.  So, take a knee for them.    

And what about the idiots among us?  They deserve to have representation just s much as anyone.  There are no race or gender barriers for idiots.  They are as legitimate as any of us.  So, let’s take a knee for them as well.  Idiot’s have rights too.  How do you know if you’re an idiot?  There are a lot of ways to tell.  For one thing, if you litter you’re an idiot.  If your car is too loud, you’re an idiot.  You may have voted for Donald Trump, on the other hand, you may have voted for Hillary Clinton.

(Idiot: fool, dimwit, knucklehead, schmuck, etc.) 

I know a lot of idiots, hell, I may be an idiot.  But I don’t litter or have a loud car, and I voted for Bernie.     

— John Kushma is a communication consultant and lives in Logan, Utah.


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